LITTLE ROCK, AR – Halloween 2010 was the last time Wanda Tosh took a picture of her son, Ronnie Paul Russell.
According to his mom, the father of three from Batesville loved his kids more than anything. Four days after the photo was snapped, he vanished. The case remains unsolved, but his mom strongly believes someone knows what happened and where he is.
The only thing she wants is for someone to find her son, who, right now, is among “The Missing.”
It’s a 15-mile drive from Batesville to Newark, a drive that Wanda and her husband have made countless times.
“It’s sad,” she says when asked what it was like to be back in Newark. “Cause I know my son is somewhere around this park place. I don’t know where, but somewhere.”
Nov. 4, 2011 started like any other day for Ronnie Russell, but times were hard for the father of three. He and his wife had just separated. He had lost his job, had no car and was living with his mom and yet, he still had a good sense of humor.
The night he disappeared, Ronnie was at his uncle’s house but left with his step-cousin’s girlfriend who offered him a ride to Hardee’s, where she worked.
Instead of going into the restaurant, Ronnie walked away, never to be seen again. Wanda believes her son may have ended up at an apartment complex where his wife lived after the separation. She said he wanted to get back together with his wife.
What happened here, if anything, remains a mystery.
In the days and weeks following his disappearance, Independence County investigators cleared Ronnie’s wife and others. They searched a popular cave and a forest behind Ronnie’s uncle’s house but found nothing. All the leads dried up.
According to Wanda, so did the investigation. Wanda and her husband started searching on their own..
“We brought in dogs and had it searched,” she says.
They followed countless rumors, no matter how wild they seemed.
“I go anywhere anyone points me to. I don’t care what it looks like. I’m gonna go in and I’m going to check,” she adds.
For the past four years, Wanda and her husband have scoured miles of swamps and forests–hoping, praying for a sign, a clue, anything that may shed light.
“It’s hard,” Wanda says. “I mean it’s on my mind everyday.”
She continues to search, despite fearing the worst.
“I don’t think my son is alive,” says Wanda. “My heart is broken. I just want closure. I just want to know where he’s at.”
Mike Mundy with the Independence County Sheriff’s Office says the case is still active, there are no new leads and that he has nowhere to go. He hopes FOX 16’s story can help change that because right now, he’s also working three other missing person cases.
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